We Swoop to Conquer

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I’ve heard her many nights,
sounding to this groggy traveler
on the road to Nod like a reveler
out back who’s maybe had too many
and felt like hootin’ instead of hollerin’.
There’s no denying she’s
the genuine article if you’ve heard
that true whooo-who-who-whoooo.
I’d give anything to see her swoop
from the oak in the full moon’s light.
I imagine she’d appear like a ghostly
autumn leaf in an early fall
upon some deserving tunneling varmint.
This morning, I came as close
as I ever will to catching that owl
in flight when one of her feathers
stayed behind, in post-predatory landing,
upon the grass below my window on
the natural and imaginary worlds.
It’s now my talisman for these flights
into the darkness where I hunt
for the beginnings, middles and ends of
the whats, the whens, the wheres, the whys
and, of course, all those whos.

Found that feather up there in my back yard this morning. Thought it might be a hawk feather. But my wife noted that she heard our recent visitor out back last night. Sure enough, a short check of Internet resources confirmed it’s a flight feather from a Great Horned Owl. I just couldn’t let all this go without making a written “something” out of it.

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